Project: Dummy Development: Modelling of Abdominal Injuries

Reference: S085D/VF

Last update: 05/09/2003 15:41:50


The principal objective of this research was to explore the feasibility of developing a finite element model of the human abdomen and establish its potential to simulate real life responses to typical in-car loadings.


The Department has a need to understand the biomechanics of abdominal injuries and which parameters in a car impact cause them to occur. Studies of accident data have previously shown that a significant number of serious injuries to vehicle occupants occur to the abdomen and it was believed that incorrect positioning of the seatbelt across the stomach was the main cause of those injuries. Initial analysis of accident data revealed that the serious injuries to the abdomen occurred to the organs (liver, spleen, and kidneys) than the intestine and therefore modelling was focussed in this area.


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £60,000.00

Actual start date: 30 April 1999

Actual completion date: 30 April 2000


PR/SE/100/00. Modelling of abdominal injuries sustained in road accidents: Final report
Author: TRL Ltd.
Publication date: 01/04/2000
Source: Contact
More information:

Summary of results

  1. Literature review - This provided detailed anatomical data and information describing injuries to the abdomen and how they were caused but gave little information regarding injury mechanisms. The study of epidemiological literature indicated high occurrence of injury to the solid organs such as the spleen, liver and kidneys as opposed to intestinal injury.

    Preliminary Studies - These helped gain a better understanding of the problems involved in modelling abdominal injury.

    Finite Element Model Build - The response of the final model was found to correlate well with the viscous criteria and compression measured in published experimental data. However, the current capability for modelling soft biological materials was limited by the material modelling options available in the proprietary finite element software.